In 1160, ascetic monks settled in the valley of peace and quiet near Slovenske Konjice, where it even today appears as if time stands still.
In the 19th century, the charterhouse was founded in Žiče and was the first charterhouse in Central Europe outside of France and Italy. The monks were committed to contemplation, books and a hermit life, which prescribed life in the community removed from the outside world. Nobility often wished to live near the Carthusian monks because they believed that they will benefit from the monk’s devotion to faith and their prayers. The Counts of Celje supported the Žiče Charterhouse and the entire region flourished with it.
The cause for the begin of the construction of the monastery in the valley of St John the Baptist during the period of Count Ottokar III, the Margrave of Styria, remains a mystery to this day. The arched wine cellar, where the famous sparkling wines of Zlati grič are maturing, still bears Ottokar’s name. You can also visit the herbal gardens and learn the stories about the monastic pharmacy, where the natural monastic medicine was produced. You also have to visit Gastuž, the oldest restaurant in central Europe which was established in the 15th century and still preserves monastic recipes.
The upper as well as the lower monasteries are still preserved. In the former, twelve monks lived in accordance with the strict lifestyle of the order. Sixteen lay brothers lived in the lower monastery in Špitalič and occupied themselves with milling, brick making and other trades. During the Schism of the church, Žiče Charterhouse was even the seat of the Carthusian order. Many medieval manuscripts from the rich monastery library are still preserved. Nowadays, Žiče Charterhouse is a popular trip destination for the entire family, which we recommend to soak up the peace and find inspiration in the life in the quiet of nature.